Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan's office has released a list of 70 city-owned potential locations for Safe Rest Villages for the homeless in all parts of Portland.
Although the sites are in all parts of Portland, most are located in downtown and east parts of the city. Among the potential sites are two blocks on in Old Town/Chinatown, the Kenton Community Garden, the St. Johns Community Garden, two grassy areas next to the Moda Center, a site directly to the east of Kelly Butte Natural Area, abandoned water tanks in residential neighborhoods, and the Old Firehouse Theatre in the Goose Hollow Neighborhood.
The proposed villages are intended to provide alternatives to people currently living unsheltered on sidewalks and other public spaces. They will include basic hygiene facilities, laundry, trash services, behavioral health resources and case management.
The next phase is for a workgroup from the city of Portland and Multnomah County to evaluate the proposed sites to consider factors such as square footage, access to transit, utility hookups and environmental impact.
Ryan's office said the city will be hiring staff to lead siting and community engagement with potentially impacted neighborhoods. His office stressed that every location will need to be evaluated by city specialists. Just because a location is on this preliminary list of possible sites does not mean a Safe Rest Village will be built there, his office said. The goal is to select six sites that can be completed by winter.
The City Council directed the list to be prepared earlier this year when it approved the Paving the Pathway from Streets to Stability ordinance authorizing up to six managed sites. Ryan has requested $20 million in unspent federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to finance them.
The propoerties are owned or managed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Bureau of Environmental Services, Parks and Recreation, Portland Housing Bureau, Prosper Portland or the Office of Management and Finance. Ryan also has asked other jurisdictions, including Multnomah County, to submit potential sites.
The list and more information can be found here.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story.
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